gunsmoke stryker
Gunsmoke Western TV
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Stryker Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #15, Episode #02

After fifteen years behind bars for murder, Josh Stryker, a once-respected United States Marshal, comes back to Dodge City. His return brings forth a tumultuous mix of emotions: bitter resentment towards his former deputy, Matt Dillon, whose testimony led to his conviction, yet also a desire for reconciliation with his daughter Sarah Jean. The looming dangers posed by two outlaws, Jessup and Reager, complicate matters further. This gripping tale unfolded in an episode aired on September 29, 1969, Gunsmoke Stryker.

Explore the intricacies of Stryker’s storyline and uncover fascinating trivia, or indulge in the episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of Gunsmoke Stryker

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Gunsmoke Stryker Cast

The cast members who performed in the Gunsmoke episode titled Stryker are as follows:

  • Milburn Stone as Doc
  • Amanda Blake as Kitty
  • Ken Curtis as Festus
  • Buck Taylor as Newly (credit only)
  • James Arness as Matt
  • Morgan Woodward as Josh Stryker
  • Joan Van Ark as Sarah Jean Stryker
  • Royal Dano as Jessup
  • Mills Watson as Reager
  • James Nusser as Louie Pheeters
  • Andy Devine as Jed Whitlow
  • Walter Sande as Cal Hoskins
  • Glenn Strange as Sam
  • Ted French as Dish
  • Don Happy as Cowboy #1
  • Loren Brown as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Stephen Burnette as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred Dale as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Ross Dollarhide as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Rudy Doucette as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jaye Durkus as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Chester Hayes as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bert Madrid as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred McDougall as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jimmy Noel as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Phil Schumacher as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Chick Sheridan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Hank Wise as Barfly (uncredited)

Full Story Line of Stryker

Arriving in Dodge as a former marshal, Josh Stryker steps into town fresh from serving time in prison for the cold-blooded killing of an outlaw. He blames Matt for both the loss of his arm and the lengthy prison sentence he endured.

Full Script and Dialogue of Stryker


How are you?


Except for that.

They cut it off up there.

I'm glad you came back to Dodge.

You're a liar, Deputy.

She's still here, Josh.
Why don't you go on home.

Sarah Jean?


Oh, Papa!

Just like your mother's...

- All nice and shiny.
- Oh!

It's so good to have you home.

Where's your man? You... You
wrote me and told me you got married.

I didn't want you to know.

He ran away.

Well, he must have been a fool.

How you been getting along?
How you been keeping yourself?

I took a job working for Miss
Kitty over at The Long Branch.

You're a saloon woman?

Don't say it like that, Papa.

I just wanted you to grow
up decent and proper, is all.

I am decent.

Oh, Papa!

I know you are,
honey. I know you are.

When I get...

Just takes gettin' used to.

It was just a scratch
until it all got festered.

- Remember, Papa?
- Mm-hm.

You was just weed high
when I gave it to you.

Place don't seem the
same without your mother.

It seems they got a rule
against lettin' a man out of prison

to see his wife buried.

Last thing she said
before she died, she said,

"Take good care of your
papa when he comes home."

That's just what I'm gonna do.

How about something to eat
for a start? You must be hungry.


Fix me up a cup
of good, hot coffee.

All right, Papa.

Burn! Burn, burn!

Dirt scratchers are burning!

Just ashes and smoke!
Ooh, ashes and smoke!

Get rid of dirt
scratchers. You Wilsons!

This here is Coley Remick!

Burn! Burn!

Thank you.

You know, I knew you
was gonna go that way.

Forty years,

and you still plan
on the same trap.

Jed, will you just play?

You know, that reminds me of
an article I read here in The Bulletin

about an old boy
up in Hays City.

Why, he...


You still look the
same, mean and ornery.

- Jed, how are you?
- Josh Stryker.

You still over at
the Feed & Grain?

Well I sold out a
couple of years ago.

I got a little old to be
totin' those feedbags.

No such thing as a man getting
too old to do a job he set his life to.

Even if he has
to give something.

Mr. Stryker, how about a drink?

What'll it be, sir?

Well now, Sam, it hasn't
been so long you forgot, has it?

Set up one for Cal and
Jed, and these boys here.

- Yes, sir.
- Thank you.

Still got a tight hold
on you, huh, Louie?

- Sam, pour Louie one.
- Yes, sir.

Miss Russell, Dr. Adams.

- Josh.
- Hello, Mr. Stryker.

- Can I buy you a drink?
- No, thanks.

Having coffee, Josh, thank you.

I want to thank you for giving Sarah
Jean a job in this place of yours.

Sarah Jean's a very good
21 dealer, Mr. Stryker.

You know what I was
just thinkin' about?

No, I don't.

What were you
thinking about, Josh?

I was thinkin' about the night them
Grady boys busted into your place

all liquored up
and loaded for bear.

Yeah, I sure do
remember that night.

You know, they
almost tore the roof off.

You walked right in there,

looked 'em right in the eye,

never said a word.

And they started
dropping their gunbelts.

And then the trouble you
had cartin' them off to jail!

One'd fall down, you'd
get him on his feet.

Boom! Down would
go the other one.

And the big old Grady fell
right in the horse trough.

Looked like a big wet
pig too drunk to move.

Took about two dozen of us

to pull that big, old
sow out of that trough.

It was like pullin' a full-grown bull
out of a sump hole, is what it was.

Of course, everybody
remembers Coley Remick.

That night,

when I caught up with him
out at the Wilson place...

it was too late for me to do
anything about Jim, Ellie...

and two little kids
inside that burning house.

Remick was standing outside

watching it burn, laughin'.

Laughin' like a man gone crazy.

No matter how it's been told...

If he hadn't tried to escape,
I wouldn't have killed him.

And you two know me
better than anybody ever has.

You believe I'd shoot
on an unarmed man?


Well, I... don't know, I...

- Well, do you?
- I don't know, Josh!

Just isn't clear. I'm
like the folks at the trial.

Then Marshal Dillon got on
the stand and he said that...

My deputy told it
different than it was.


That was 15 years ago.

Don't you think it ought to
be dead and buried by now?

You talk like my deputy, Dillon.

All I want is to clear my name.

Maybe that's all I'm
askin' of this town.

Don't try to clear your name by
dragging Matt's through the mud.

Only two men know what
happened out there that night,

me and the deputy.

Matt Dillon's story on that witness
stand took 15 years off my life,

and this arm by a prison butcher
that called himself a doctor.

You gonna blame
him for that too?

Your inference is plain enough.

You're inferring that
Matt lied on that stand.

Josh, there's not a man, woman or
child in this town that would believe

that Matt Dillon
would lie under oath.

Only if he wanted
something bad enough.

What do you mean by that?

A US marshal's badge.

You know, in some twisted kind of
a way, I think you really believe that.

Josh, I went out there myself
that night. I examined Remick.

There were three bullet holes in
him, and one would have killed him.

When a prisoner's escaping, a man
don't count how many times he shoots.

All right, wait a minute.

Everyone knows that
Jim and Ellie Wilson

were your closest friends.

And you hated Remick for
what he did to them and the kids.

Now, isn't it just possible

that you took it upon yourself
to save the court a lot of trouble

and execute him yourself?

There you are, Josh.

In one blind moment
of rage, you'd kill a man.

What are you two
doing here in Dodge?

We got an idea you
ain't gonna like, Stryker.

First things, as they say,
is hotel and eatin' money.

- We need a stake real bad.
- A stake for what?

Just bed and grub is all.

If you got ten, maybe 20
spare dollars you could spare,

we'd appreciate it.

You came all the way down from
Lanson Prison for a handout, did you?

Not exactly.

We could use some cash money.

Being as we didn't
have no money-payin' job

in that prison like you did.


You must have made more than
$500 bossin' that prison rail gang.

Well, it was while we was
working that prison rail gang, Josh,

listening to your jawing with that
old miner around the baggage car,

the one that knew you from the old days
when you were wearin' a badge and all.

Now, Jessup and me figured that
that old man could hardly turn you down

if you were to, say, uh,

turn up at Abilene and not
have the fare to Fort Hayes,

where you had a job
waiting for you or something.

I ride the baggage car
and let you two on, is that it?

We found out something,
Joshua Stryker!

Payroll comes into Fort
Hayes end of every month.

That's the last of this week.


I ain't got but one thing
on my mind here in Dodge.

The marshal.

Are you still bad-mouthin'
that Dodge City marshal?

"Dillon sent me up, Dillon
took my badge away."

Well, all right,
Josh, just forget it!

Reager and I'll
take care of Dillon.

Throw it in as part of the deal.

We'll take care of Dillon and
throw it in as part of the deal?!

Evening, missy.

Good seeing you again, Josh.

Who were those men, Papa?

Just men I've known in the past.

- In prison?
- In prison.

- They was looking for a handout.
- A handout.

Money enough to get
them where they're going.

- And you gave it to them?
- Yes, I gave it to them.

I heard about what happened
between you and Dr. Adams.

Why, Papa?

Why did you do it?

Look at me!

Why did you have to do that?

Jessup, he ain't gonna
come on with us, he's too old.

He didn't say no.

Fifteen years in prison
addled his brain. Huh?

- He didn't say no.
- But he...

No time to argue.

We kill this
marshal, like I said.

Believe him.

What's old Ace Reed a-squawkin'
about this time, Matthew?

Oh, he claims Hound Dog crouched
his sheep for grazing on his land again.

Grazin' on his...

You know there ain't been a
blade of grass on that old pile of rock

since the upheaval of creation.

Yeah, I know, but I still gotta
ride out and check it over.

Well just let me
tell you something,

if you're fixin' to go out to Ace
Reed's house, now you be careful.

- Why is that?
- Well, because, that old he-goat,

why, he's so blamed near-sighted he
can't see past the brim of his own hat.

Yeah, well, thanks
for the advice, Festus.

You bet.

- See you later. Thanks, Dish.
- Okay, Marshal.

Now you be careful,
Matthew, you hear me?

Dish. Come here.

Ace Reed's place,
where is it located?



Ace Reed, you in
there? It's Matt Dillon.

You know something, Louie,

I got the uncommonest
itch in my big toe.

It's just been a-pestering
me all morning.

It's right there in that knuckle

where it kind of joins up with
my foot bone, don't you see.

Oh, it's terrible.

That supposed to mean
something, Festus?

Louie, there's times when
you just talk like a plumb ninny.

No offense intended.

What does it mean?

It means that it's a-fixin' to rare
back and storm up, don't you see?

That's what it means.

Like my Grandma
Tupper used to say,

folks that believes in signs
don't never get theirselves wet.

Do tell.

Take that, Festus.

Golly be, what
happened, Matthew?

Well, I got ambushed
out at Ace Reed's place.

There were two of them.
The other one ran off.

Who in the tarnation is
he... was he, anyhow?

I don't know, I never
saw either of them before.

All right, folks, it's all
over. Nothing else to see.

Let's break it up
now, move along.

All right, you heard Matthew,
now go on about your business.

Matt, look at that.

Yeah, I know, I saw those.

Festus, get him over to
Percy Crimp's, will you?

You betcha.

Those sores on his legs were
caused by leg irons, you know.


Maybe you can tell me why
a man that's been in prison,

never saw you before in
his life, would want to kill you.

Unless maybe somebody
hired him to do it.

Somebody that wanted
you dead awful bad.

Doc, that's all I've been
thinking about all the way in here.

I know what you're getting at.

I... I just can't bring myself
to believe that Stryker would...

Well I think you're
wearing blinders, maybe.

I know what he meant
to you in those days, Matt,

and I know how hard it was for
you to get on that witness stand.

Testifying against him was the
toughest thing I ever did in my life, Doc.

I know it. So does
everybody else in town.

But Stryker knows your
testimony put him in prison.

And it's been eating
on him for 15 years.

And if I was you,

I'd want to know an awful lot
more about that fella out there.



Somebody tried to
kill Marshal Dillon.

- What do you mean?
- Two men.

They didn't kill him, but
one of those men is dead.


He's one of the two men that
was at the house last night.

Why are you looking
at me that way?

- You don't think I...
- Did you, Papa?

I never once tried to hide my
feelings about that deputy...

Papa, he's not your deputy
anymore. Can't you understand that?

He's the marshal now, and
he has been for 15 years.

- I know about those years.
- You didn't answer me.

Did you hire those men
to kill Marshal Dillon?

I want you to believe I didn't
have anything to do with it.

I love you, Papa.

Don't take that away from me.

Get! Get out of here!

Diggin' and spoilin!

Burn, burn! Burn!

You dirt scratchers are burning!

Just ashes and smoke!
Ashes and smoke!


You Wilsons!

This here is Coley Remick!

You have been charged
to go to the devil by fire!

And this fire gonna take you!

This fire gonna take you,
James Wilson! Ellie Wilson!

Go to the devil and burn!

Burn! Burn!


What is it you want
out here, Deputy?

I just got a wire
from the warden.

I sent him a description of
those two men that tried to kill me.

Turns out they were both
from Kansas State Prison.

What are you trying to say?

They were in the same
cell with you, Josh.

There was a parcel of
them in that cell with me,

crawling all over each
other like rats in a sewer.

Just a coincidence, that
what you're trying to say?

Got it all figured
out, don't you?

You think I hired them
old boys to kill you.

It's too bad you
don't have no proof.

Maybe you could
send me back up there.

Josh, I didn't think that 15
years in prison or losing an arm

or anything else would
make you sink low enough

to try and have a man ambushed.

Come in.

Can I see you a
minute, Miss Russell?

What can I do for
you, Mr. Stryker?

There's $500 there.

For Sarah Jean. Will
you see she gets it?

Can't you wait until the
bank opens in the morning?

I don't figure on being
here in the morning.

Um... does Sarah Jean know that?


I'll take care of it for you.

I'm much obliged to you.

Mr. Stryker...

I'd like to buy you a drink.

Papa, what in the world...?

Your father, where is he, missy?

He's not here.

What do you want?

Don't... No...

He's got a lot of money
in that writing desk.

Now, let's get it.

I don't know anything
about any money.

Open the drawer.


Something's in there.

- Where is it?
- I don't know anything about it!

You got beautiful hair, missy.

I'm gonna keep cutting on it till
you remember where the money is.


Oh, no! Oh, no!

Oh, no, stop, please!

Oh, no!

Stop it! Papa!

Who did this to you?

I wouldn't, Josh.

This little girl doesn't
know where the money is.

I guess you're
gonna have to tell me.

I gave it to the
lady at the saloon.

If you leave here or call out,

then that woman that
runs the saloon, she's dead.

- Understand?
- Yeah.


Here we go, fellas! Dig in!

What can I get you, mister?

- Where can we talk?
- We can talk right here.

I'm for real, missy.

Now, where can we talk?


The money Stryker left
with you. Where is it?

Don't know what
you're talking about.

The money. Now.

Sarah Jean...

Get away.

Go on, Papa, why
don't you leave?

This time you won't be
leaving anything behind.

Get out.

Go on!

Sarah Jean.

The marshal. Gotta
get the marshal!

I'll take the rest of it.

You're a pig.

All of it.

- Kitty, you all right?
- Yes.

- Better go get Doc.
- All right.

Sam, give me a hand here.

Another couple of
weeks, you'll be all right.

Papa, I said things to
you that I didn't mean.

Sometimes a man
looks inside himself...

- and he don't like what he sees.
- Sh...

Everything's gonna
be all right now, Papa.

Miss Russell,

she says you're a
pretty good 21 dealer.

Best in Dodge City.

- It'll grow back, Papa.
- Sure it will.

All nice and shiny.

You run on home now.

Would you tell Matt
that I'd like to see him?

Sure, Papa.

Marshal Dillon, Papa
wants to talk to you.


I just wanted you to know...

I didn't set them fellas on you.

But maybe I could
have stopped them.

Well, we did stop them,
Josh, and that's what counts.

That's right.

That's what counts, Marshal.

Behind the Scenes of Stryker

Kitty’s office has a soundproof inner door. When Jessup closes it, the noise from the saloon immediately ceases.

Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?

Do you have a taste for vintage yet sophisticated television series? Look no further than Gunsmoke. Whether you’re watching solo or with loved ones, this classic series spanning 20 seasons, airing from 1955 to 1975 on the CBS network, is guaranteed to captivate you. Stryker marks the second episode of Season 15.

You can find more about any of the Gunsmoke episodes here.

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